ARTICLES

Category: Behavioral Tips

It is critical that students know how they are performing and what they need to do to improve on their skills to be fully invested every day to achieve their learning goals. Student-led conferences are one way to support this effort, and research for many years has stated the positive aspects of involving students in this way. In a study almost twenty years old, parents have expressed their support for this shift, “as one that focused on the whole child, fosters more student-led accountability, and accentuates positive attributes about their child’s learning” (Conderman, et. al, 1998, p 134). So why has it taken so long for student-led conferences to be fully implemented in schools?

Virginia Tech security just taught me a life lesson this week, but probably not the one you would expect!

What an opportunity I had today! As a father and as an educator, I was so inspired today by my new hero Conner Cummings! If you don’t know Conner, you soon will. Conner is an up-and-coming 23 year old young man who is a nationally recognized advocate, connected to the top researchers in the world of Autism, and now has a law passed in his name! Oh…and by the way, he has the superpower of Autism.

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Are you listening to your students when they have ideas for improvements or helping others? Do you turn these into opportunities for developing their leadership skills? What has really caught my attention over time is seeing individual students that have shown leadership WITHOUT adults giving them the ideas.

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I played this music video as I started writing and my kids swarmed me, halfway sitting on me, arms around my head! They were totally drawn to the sounds of Elmo, Abby, and Grover celebrating Autism!

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This week is Inclusive Schools Week and we celebrate what it means to be inclusive through activities, readings, and discussions with our students. But why do we only talk about inclusive practices during this week? Inclusive Schools Week should be EVERY week! “Inclusive” is a powerful word. Remember that inclusive refers to mixed abilities but also diversity in cultures and backgrounds. How are we ensuring that every single student feels that they are included and wanted in our classrooms? It’s not just about what actions we take. It’s about the feelings and thoughts of our students.

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Why spend a Saturday or Sunday morning to literally walk or run around in circles? When I was younger, before kids, before other life experiences, I really struggled to understand what the purpose was for walks and runs for the many causes that came up throughout the year. But as life kicked in, I realized how important it is to support others and to pull in the support for yourself and your family when you need it. “Community” comes to mind and what that word should really mean.

Value each and every child in your classroom and school. Really. All of them. Not just the cute ones… Not just the funny ones… Not just the well-behaved ones… Not just the ones with supportive parents… All of them.